When first launched in 2008, the Genesis proved how serious was Hyundai to become a world class contender in the luxury car segment offering customers a very well thought and sorted sedan (and coupe) that was hard to fault. And however the world looked at the original Genesis, it was here to stay and now Hyundai pushes the envelope once more with a new second-generation that refines on the original formula.
After its global debut by hardly a month, Hyundai invited the regional media recently to test drive the new Genesis in Dubai, a step that still confirms our regions’ position as Genesis’ global second largest market after North America. And even the sales in the region were nothing to brag about, Hyundai are confident this time that the car will be a big hit this time around.
Hyundai calls the Genesis’s all-new style Fluidic Sculpture 2.0, a nature-inspired design philosophy that balances toughness and organic and sculptural softness. I found the car to be modern, elegant and most importantly it does stand out in a big crowd of luxury sedans, no thanks to that over-sized front grille that looks like a shield.
Inside, the cabin is lush with fine fit and finish and natural materials like real wood, leather and aluminum trim. Thanks to a wheelbase that grew by a long seven centimeters, the cabin is even bigger and welcoming than before. As a premium model in a highly competitive sector, the Genesis has pulled out all the stops to ensure that occupants enjoy the highest levels of comfort and convenience. Multimedia entertainment is of the highest quality with high definition TFT displays with a 9.2'' display provides the world's highest specification and premium DIS navigation. The Genesis also offers a number of first-in-class technologies such as full-color Head-Up Display, Smart Trunk, Autonomous Emergency Braking, Blind Spot Detection and Around View Monitor. There are also two types of cruise control to chose from, a standard system or an optional Smart Cruise Control with auto braking. The car also offers a world first in-car CO2 sensor which automatically activates the ventilation system to reduce drowsiness.
As in the outgoing model, the new Genesis offers the choice of a 3.8-liter V6 or a 5.0-liter V8, both with direct injection to boost power and economy even there’s no engine stop-start system. We drove the car with both power plants and I can vouch that both are strong, responsive and zesty. According to Hyundai, the V6 will manage around 6.5 seconds to propel the sedan to 100 km, while the V8 will cut that down to 5.4 seconds, thanks here to an improved eight-speed auto box that shifts cleanly and extra smoothly just ahead of the redline every time.
On Dubai highways, the Genesis showed many improvements over its predecessor; its body and wheel control are much improved, and never gets overly harsh. Thanks here to more rear-wheel travel done through repositioning of the dampers.
The adaptive dampers now can be controlled independently side to side to firm up the outboard shocks and soften the inside units in corners, but we experienced some body roll on tight corners, a proof that full-blown sporting credentials are still not the Genesis’ main recipe.
The new electric assisted steering is now sharper and more responsive something you can’t describe a lot of electric steering systems these days, but it felt over-assisted. And at any speed, the cabin was coffin-quite as Hyundai claims that its sedan boasts the most aerodynamic design of any vehicle in its class.
Besides competitive pricing - $40.000 for the V6 and $56.000 for the V8 - the 2015 Genesis will be an excellent deal once more especially with Hyundai's Premium Assurance Plus Program that includes a guaranteed buy-back value, free maintenance and 24/7 roadside assistance.
V6, 3.8 L, 315 hp, 400 Nm
V8, 5.0 L, 425 hp, 520 Nm
0-100 km: 6.5 seconds (V6), 5.4 seconds (V8)
Top Speed: 240 km (V6 & V8)
8-speed automatic transmission
Pros: Bolder, distinctive exterior, refined interior
Rivals: Audi A6, BMW 5 series, Mercedes E, Lexus GS, Infiniti Q70
One word: competitive